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LFD stays on the road with steady stream of emergencies

Posted: December 19, 2011 8:43 a.m.
Updated: December 19, 2011 8:40 a.m.
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A tractor-trailer’s damaged fuel tank leaked 175 gallons of diesel fuel on the roadway and parking lot at the Pilot Truck Stop in Lugoff last week.

Smoldering wires inside a panel box at a West Wateree school and spilled fuel at a convenience store kept the Lugoff Fire Department (LFD) on the go last week.

LFD Chief Dennis Ray said the incidents had the potential for “great hazard” but the danger was kept to a minimum.
The department responded Dec. 13 to Lugoff Elementary School on Ridgeway Road for a report of a strong smoke smell inside the office area. After the school was evacuated, firefighters found a panel box in the cafeteria as the source of the smoke and burning smell. A power surge caused by an electrical fire near a transformer that the fire department responded to a few minutes earlier likely resulted in the burning wires inside the panel box, Ray said.

“Because of the high age of the school and the older wiring inside the panel box, it is not unlikely that a simple power surge would cause this damage,” the chief said. “Fortunately, the school was open and the smoke was detected early by employees. The incident was isolated and no children were ever in danger.”

The Pine Grove and Blaney fire departments also responded to the school for support.

Later in the same day, the LFD responded to the Pilot Truck Stop on U.S. 601 for a large fuel spill coming from a tractor-trailer. A semi-truck had struck an object on I-20 westbound near the rest area that ruptured the right-side diesel fuel tank. By the time the truck reached the Pilot Truck Stop and parked, Ray said, approximately 175 gallons of diesel fuel had leaked onto the roadway and throughout the parking lot.

Crews from the Pilot Station and LFD were able to contain the fuel until a clean-up crew arrived. The S.C. Department of Transportation also responded with sand to help absorb the fuel on the roadway. There were no injuries.

Lugoff firefighters also responded to I-20 at the 88-mile marker westbound late that day for a motor vehicle collision with injuries that involved the transport of the driver to a trauma center via Emergency Medical Services (EMS) due to the fog, Ray reported. Firefighters assisted EMS with patient care, traffic control and scene safety for responders.

“We have been very fortunate these calls were not any more serious than they were,” Ray said. “We plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

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